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Lawmakers ready to raise the cost of that Pepsi


Here's today's lesson in economics (and passing the buck): State lawmakers have swiped more than $450 million from the recycling fund to cover the state's bills. But they have yet to pay it back. The upshot? Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is poised to sign a bill that will charge consumers an estimated $295 million more per year on beverage containers. Read more here.

Photo credit: Daniel Acker / Bloomberg

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Rich in Santa Barbara:

I'm confused by your comment. The article is about taxing beverage containers, not soda and junk food. I quote paragraph 1:

"Reporting from Sacramento - Californians could soon be paying new deposits on half-gallon juice jugs, small juice boxes and soy drink containers -- and handing over twice as much as they already pay on some soda and water bottles -- because lawmakers have been raiding the state's recycling fund to help balance the budget."

Did you click on "Read more here." (above) to read the actual article or just look at the headline and teaser before you posted your half-cocked comment? Just because Pepsi is pictured and mentioned in the headline doesn't mean that this is an article about some new obesity-related-beverage-container tax. Diet soda, juice, tea, soy milk, sports drinks and WATER are also (mostly considered "healthy") beverages that usually come in recyclable containers too, aren't they?

On water, in particular, according to an article I found by searching ask . com (not Google, surprisingly!) entitled, "Sustainable Living: Bottled water's environmental ills," Written by Shawn Dell Joyce, RecordOnline.com, Sunday, 14 October 2007:

"...more than 1 billion water bottles are ending up in the [California] state's trash each year..."

That's 1 BILLION, just in the trash, and that quote was from an article written two years ago! Aside from the landfill overload, an entirely separate environmental and tax-creating nightmare, how many more water bottles are being recycled these days, in our ever more environmentally conscious, economically desperate society? How many more bottles of all kinds?

However many beverage containers (all types) are being currently recycled - and, actually, the state's inability to cover the refunds - is the real issue here. If only 1/10th of the 1 BILLION water bottles that are trashed are actually getting recycled, that number equates to $5 MILLION paid out from the recycling fund EACH YEAR - on water bottles alone. Now add in the rest of the other kinds of beverage holders that are recycled. It is the recycling of ALL beverage containers, and our state's lawmakers's (mis)use of the fund to cover California's other debts, that is burdening this state's recycling budget, which the new beverage container tax would be created to bolster. Again, this is not a tax on the soda makers, bottlers or purveyors, but on consumers, obese and thin alike.

While there is inarguably an over use of fatty, salty, sugary convenience foods and drinks out there that is helping to create obese people, this tax would also affect the all too often (like your comment makes you seem to be) appallingly self-righteous health conscious folks of the world, who make up a large portion of the bottled water (and other "healthy" drink) consumers of California... Unfortunately, you missed the entire point of the article in what appears to have been your quest to impose a backdoor chastisement of the obese for drinking soda and eating junk food; the personal, physical, psychological and financial detriments of which I'm sure they're more aware than you and I will ever be. Furthermore, in consideration of the media onslaught regarding the issue, I'm fairly certain that most everyone in the U.S. pretty much knows by now what's healthy and what's not, and what will happen if an unhealthy lifestyle is pursued. I'm sure no one needed your soap box rendition of this oh so tired same old tune. Your entire comment could have been summed up in two words: Tax Chubby. It would have been as wrong as the longer version you wrote, but we wouldn't have had to spend the extra time reading your additional drivel.

In conclusion, when next you rant, I would ask for all our sakes that you please learn, retain and stay on point with the premise on which your rant is based before you throw other people (like me) into fits of research and longwinded correction such as this.

Thank you for your kind attention to this matter.

Someone called cigarettes "a tax on the poor". That comparison certainly might also apply to soda and junk food. I'd say (as a non user of soda and junk food) that a good portion of all the sugar, salt and fat containing "fun foods" should be taxed heavily to discourage their use. When one considers the health costs to society of all those empty calories being consumed by our already obese population, it take just a moment to realize that we, the taxpayer, are saddled with the costs of keeping the sugar/salt/fat purveyors in business. If the government can plug some of the deficit with a hefty tax on soda and junk food, so much the better, as they are a hidden burden on society anyway.


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